Celebrating Excellence, BSU Recognizes Faculty & Staff Outstanding Achievements

Bemidji State University recognized 66 employees with 755 combined years of service, five faculty members who have been granted emeriti status, five retiring staff members and winners of the university’s Awards of Excellence at its annual Employee Recognition Celebration on May 2.

BSU’s Awards of Excellence include the Spirit of BSU Awards, Outstanding Contribution Award, Excellence in
Teaching Award and Distinguished Service Award.

The Spirit of BSU Award recognizes individuals or teams whose positive attitude and infectious enthusiasm embody the Spirit of BSU through active support of students, student-athletes, co-workers and community members. The Outstanding Contribution Award is given to an individual who has gone above and beyond expectations to contribute to areas of student success, civic engagement, diversity, sustainability and/or public service. The Excellence in Teaching Award is given to a faculty member who has demonstrated teaching excellence through evidence of exceptional learning outcomes and quality student advising. The Distinguished Service Award is presented to a faculty or staff member who has been at BSU for at least five years with an ongoing record of superlative performance and professional excellence combined with significant personal impact in the areas of student success, civic engagement, diversity, sustainability and/or public service.

  • Spirit of BSU Award (individual) — Chris Haley, office services supervisor
  • Spirit of BSU Award (team)– Bemidji State University A.C. Clark Library staff
  • Outstanding Contribution Award (team) – Student Center for Health and Counseling counselors, Lora Bertelsen, Amanda Gartner and Melissa Truax
  • Outstanding Contribution Award– Jim Stone, assistant professor of athletics, human performance, sport and health, and head soccer coach
  • Outstanding Contribution Award– Paul Ekhoff, facilities building and maintenance supervisor
  • Outstanding Contribution Award– Dr. Misty Wilkie, associate professor of nursing
  • Excellence in Teaching Award– Dr. Pat Donnay, professor of political science
  • Distinguished Service Award– Jean Lanners, office and administrative specialist of finance and administration

BSU also recognized four recipients of the university’s Diversity Certificate, which recognizes employees who complete 15 hours of qualifying diversity-related training or activities during an academic year.

The Diversity Certificate recipients were Sandra Beck, facilities services supervisor, Dr. Christy Cook, assistant professor of nursing, Stacie Jergenson, assistant professor of criminal justice, and Donna Pawlowski, professor of communication studies.

President Hensrud’s nominee for the 2019 Minnesota State Board of Trustees Professional Excellence in Service Award was also awarded. Loralyn Kuechle, associate director of residential life, was recognized as BSU’s nominee for the Board of Trustees award.

Bemidji State’s five retiring staff members have a combined 67 years of service to the university.

  • Dr. Linda Colburn, associate professor of professional education, 5 years
  • Dr. Douglas Olney, director of institutional research & effectiveness, 10 years
  • Visnja Remata-Bilanovic, customer service, 17 years
  • Victoria Ruzicka, office and administrative specialist intermediate, Minnesota State Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence, 18 years
  • Mindy Taylor, athletic equipment manager, 17 years

BSU’s 66 employees recognized with Years of Service awards were:

  • 45 Years
    • Diane Renken, state program administrative technical specialist
  • 30 years
    • Dr. Randall Ludeman, director of housing and residential life
    • Dr. Carol Ann Russell-Wething, professor of English
  • 25 years
    • Angela Coan, customer service specialist
    • Dr. Elizabeth Rave, professor of biology
    • Dr. John Truedson, professor of physics
    • Ricky Turn, refrigeration mechanic
  • 20 years
    • Stephanie Bard, associate director of financial aid
    • Dr. Mark Fulton, professor of biology
    • LeeAnn Hensley, general maintenance worker
    • Dr. Del Lyren, professor of music
    • Brandan McManus, associate professor of history
    • Thomas Serratore, head men’s hockey coach and associate professor of athletics, human performance, sport and health
    • Dr. Marty Wolf, professor of mathematics and computer science
    • Sarah Young, associate professor of TRIO
  • 15 years
    • Shawn Anderson, general maintenance worker
    • Sheldon Brower, general maintenance worker
    • Dr. Bonnie Higgins, interim dean of the College of Business, Math & Science
    • Kenneth Hovland, electrician
    • Michael R. Smith, machinery repair worker
    • Shelly Spears, general maintenance worker
    • Dr. Valerie Wallingford, professor of business administration
  • 10 years
    • Erika Bailey-Johnson, sustainability coordinator
    • Kristina Cirks, TRIO McNair Associate Director
    • Dr. Angela Fournier, professor of psychology
    • Dr. Dean Frost, professor of business administration
    • Dr. John Gonzalez, professor of psychology
    • Dr. Nancy Hall, professor of nursing
    • Dr. Heidi Hansen, associate professor of mathematics and computer science
    • Jodi Knott, assistant director of financial aid
    • Sarah Levesque, associate director of athletics
    • Toby Palmiscno, men’s and women’s hockey equipment manager
    • Anna Riedel, office and administrative specialist senior
    • Lisa Schmitz, assistant professor of DLiTE
    • Dr. Mehdi Sheikholeslami, professor of accountancy
  • 5 years
    • Travis Barnes, director of facilities
    • Susan Busta, account clerk senior
    • Robb Carothers, systems analysis unit supervisor
    • Dr. Porter Coggins, associate professor of professional education
    • Amanda Coulter, groundskeeper
    • Tracy Dill, director of athletics
    • Dr. Jessica Durgan, associate professor of English
    • Aspen Easterling, advising coordinator for professional education
    • Dr. John Ellis, assistant professor of history
    • Roseanne Erickson, office and administrative specialist
    • Dr. Timothy Goodwin, associate professor of professional education
    • William Graves, assistant professor of accountancy
    • Scott Guidry, assistant professor of music
    • Mallary Herbert, office and administrative specialist
    • Dr. Janet Heuer, associate professor of criminal justice
    • Nina Johnson, director of Hobson Memorial Union
    • Bonner Karger, associate director of transfer enrollment
    • Dr. Kate Larson, associate professor of psychology
    • George McConnell, director of graduate programs
    • Lyle Meulebroeck, associate professor of technology, art & design
    • Sonia O’Bryan, assistant professor of professional education
    • Dr. Donna Pawlowski, professor of communication studies
    • Dr. Miriam Rios-Sanchez, assistant professor of environmental studies
    • Debra Sea, associate professor of integrated media
    • Thomas Skime, helpdesk specialist
    • Dr. Halbana Tarmizi, associate professor of business administration
    • Jennifer Theisen, ITS 3/Programmer
    • Joshua Velez, central services administrative specialist
    • Dr. Miriam White, assistant professor of professional education
    • Dr. Misty Wilkie, associate professor of nursing
    • Megan Zothman, chief human resources officer

BSU’s five faculty members who have been granted emeriti status were:

  • Gwen Bailey, 32 years of service, associate director emerita of financial aid
  • Dr. Lauren Cobb, 18 years of service, professor emerita of English
  • Dr. Brian Donovan, 29 years of service, professor emeritus of English
  • Dr. Sandra Kranz, 27 years of service, professor emerita of accountancy
  • Dr. Judy Olson, 20 years of service, professor emerita of professional education

MN State logoBemidji State University, located amid the lakes and forests of northern Minnesota, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling more than 5,100 students, Bemidji State offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and eight graduate degrees encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. BSU is a member of the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. The university’s Shared Fundamental Values include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and international and multicultural understanding. For more, visit bemidjistate.edu or find us at BemidjiState on most of your favorite social media networks.


2019-B-146